The start of a new business venture on the north coast was the basis for a great race on brand new trails in and around Balito. The Icycle sugar rush classic in its first year welcomed a sizable number of cyclists and put on a show to spark off the new adventure centre, coffee shop, winery and floriculture in great style. Having ridden in the area extensively I was really surprised to ride trails that I’ve never been on before and have some fun on the bike. The race attracted many of the MTB stalwarts even though the cold front had decided to roll in from the south and with it dumped about 5 millimetres of rain on the track. The route was a two lap race and wound its way through the farmlands, sugarcane and indigenous costal forest.
The highlight of the route was the couple of kilometres on the single track through an amazing forest, where we crossed the river a couple of times before climbing up to the highest point. The track has been designed in a way that it could link up with other trails to form a network down the line. The enjoyable and fast route was underestimated in distance by many but generally the overall the route received positive feedback from the participants.
I managed to break away from the chasers after about 8km of racing on a slight climb leading to the indigenous forest single track and maintained the lead right until the line. The next place rider was Tyron Bird who picked up speed as the race got longer and finished a couple of minutes behind followed by Lee Penderis in 3rd The rain during the second lap made the route a little more tricky especially whilst you were dodging the riders doing the 25km route but this added to the excitement.
This was a great weekend away and I’m sure the event is going to grow in the years to come.
1st Andrew Hill
2nd Tyron Bird
3rd Lee Penderis